Monthly Archives: April 2012

At the end of diet week 2, a new favorite place and a yummy healthy dessert.

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Almost weeks ago I  was diagnosed with over acidity and candida and started with the  alkalizing Candida diet. 6 weeks are the plan. 

Yes, it’s hard. It would be a nasty lie to claim anything else. Surprisingly it’s not THAT bad as I thought to skip the alcohol, and the white wheat/yeast products… you can have plenty of other stuff instead. What really came out is that I do indeed miss my sweets the most. And I always thought I don’t have SUCH a sweet tooth – ha!?

Another thing which I experienced a lot the last weeks were some exciting dining experiments. As you should always try to keep the 80-20% balance of alkaline – acidic food you have to watch carefully what you are eating. I mainly work with two lists (PH miracle and Energiseforlife) and consider the individual recommendations which I got from Dr. Lydia Oukhaneva, my holistic doctor at Angka Cafe Rejuvenation Centre & Green Clinic.

Eating out during a detox

You might know that I love to cook my self but I love to eat out AT LEAST as much if it’s a nice restaurant with good quality food and good service. When I started the diet I was a bit scared that eating out could get a problem. But very often, especially at very good restaurants, it’s not a problem at all. You explain what you have and what you cannot have and you can get some lovely meals e.g. crispy salads with avocado and nuts, fresh fish carpaccios with olive oil, lemon and rucola or grilled or steamed fish with salad or vegetables (just don’t eat the potatoes, no matter how yummy they look ;-).

In regards of dining out I want to put the spotlight on my new favorite fish restaurant LA VELA, in Pieta

La Vela does not only have an amazing variety of highest quality fish, their service is just incredible! Friendly, warm hearted, understanding, considering any extra wishes – just a super lovely place which I can’t praise enough since we’ve discovered it some two months ago.

From all the restaurants I’ve visited this year it’s my favorite, before and during my diet. Pleasure 100% guaranteed (ok – maybe 90% for me at the moment because I have to skip the wine – hehe!)

 

When it comes to deserts I felt a bit sorry for myself. As I can’t have any fruit apart from lemon and apple and no sugar, honey and so on the only sweetener I can have is so called Xylitol which you can buy at Holland and Barret. It’s made from the birch tree and still fine in the diet. However, nobody can prepare you a dessert with Xylitol at a restaurant so I was more than delighted to find a lovely inspiration in last week’s cooking class at Angka Café. It’s actually a mix of soaked nuts (poppy seeds, almonds, hazelnut, white sesame seeds, fennel, cumin and whatever you would like to add) which you grind finely in a food processor. Now sweeten it to your taste with honey or agave sirup (me: Xylitol). It’s a kind of a base which can then be used for various things. You can have it for breakfast with yoghurt, put it on top of fruit like crumble and so on. What I want to try is to  add a hint of cinnamon to the base and make a kind of layerd dessert , top it up with some natural yoghurt and grated apple, dusted with some cacao powder. I’ll keep you posted how it goes…

For now, check out the healthy dishes which I made since the last post including:

  • Tricolori rice salad with artichokes, peppers, red & green basil in a lemon dressing
    Cook Tricolori rice according to instructions. Chop up red and green basil, dice the peppers. Cut artichoke hearts (I was lucky to have fresh ones which I steamed before) in bite sized pieces and make a dressing of lemon, olive oil, 2 spoons of tahini, a bit of ginger and seasalt. Mix everything and enjoy. Perfect for a picnic, a light lunch or as a side with a BBQ.
  • Chickpea salad with tomatoes, ginger and fresh mint
    Soak chickpeas over night (like this you won’t have any problems with gas). Cook them al dente in salted water. Chop up fresh tomatoes, ginger and fresh garlic and lots of fresh mint. Mix and dress everything with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, tandoori mix spices.
  • Roasted baby zucchini & fennel salad with brown rice
    This works well with precooked brown rice. Use a potatoe peeler to get very thin slices of the baby zucchini, cut fennel in fine slices too. Roast them in a grilling pan without oil and add a lot of herbs e.g. rosemary, oregano, sage, marjoram and season with salt. Dress the cold brown rice with olive oil, lemon and some salt. Put the roasted veg on top and sprinkle with crushed nuts of your choice.
  • Sweet sprout spread with cinnamon & cacao
    My diet’s substitute for Nutella ;-)
    Grow your sprouts according to instructions.  Mix them in a processor with some lemon, honey (me: Xylitol), organic cacao powder and cinnamon. Use it as a spread with crispy bread (e.g. I can have they or kamut :)

Detox week 1. A first conclusion & a lovely new favourite salad.

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Today a week ago I started with my detox. No sugars, no alcohol, no dairy, no white flower, no yeast and a 70% – 30% ratio of alkaline – acidic food to sum it up really briefly. In the beginning I felt quite lost. My favorite cooking methods like frying, baking with cheese – not allowed. So, it feels a bit like learning to cook a second time! After shopping all my new “basics” which means tons of grains, seeds, nuts and even more veg I felt well equipped and ready to explore new territories :D

The first days were pretty awkward. The green smoothies in the morning were the easiest, you mix different greens with 1 apple and water, that’s it. If you like you can add cucumber, celery sticks and one day I tried to make my own almond milk out of soaked almonds and water. But the rest of the day turned out to be a bit more difficult. Lots of the stuff needs soaking so you have to plan ahead. No good for people who work from home like me and normally just go to the fridge when they get hungry! However, some of the grains came out nicely, some less (my amaranth with fresh spinach more looked like baby food) but I survived and felt tiny steps of improvement and broke myself more into the new way of cooking.

When it comes to recipes I only wanna share one thing with you this week, an amazing, super yummy salad and it’s totally alkaline and fits the diet perfectly. More photos of my experiments in the photo gallery below.

Super yummy salad with sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, fresh peas & a lemon tahini dressing

Ingredients (served 6):
Different lettuces, 3 sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, fresh peas (peeled), kale (cut in bite sized pieces without the stem), coconut oil, sea salt
For the dressing:  Mix fresh lemon juice, olive oil, tahini (I used the dark one), fresh ginger (finely chopped) and sea salt

Method:
Steam the veggies shortly so they still keep a crunch (apart from the sweet potatoes, they may be a bit soft), put coconut oil on top and sprinkle with seasalt when they are done and hot. Let them cool off. Prepare the plates with your lettuces and spread them nicely. Add the dressing. Arrange the steamed veg. Drizzle with some additional olive oil. Sprinkle if you like  - I used shelled hempseed and crushed whole hempseeds which are a vital source of fatty acids, fibre and protein.

Bon appetite!

(Thanks Mich, for the lovely inspiration, just LOVE the sweet potato – coconut oil combination <3)

P.S. If you are interested in seeing a list with alkaline – acidic foods, I am using the list on The PHMiracle website, developed by Dr. Young the kind of guru when it comes to the alkaline diet. Another website I really liked is Energiseforlife.com where a young guy called Ross takes it further with a bit of a younger, fresher approach.

Detox against an unbalanced acidity & candida! Let’s begin the fight :)

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Candi – what? You might have heard of this troublesome yeast causing problems in your abdominal area, candida, a yeast which is actually in everybody’s body but can easily get out of balance through a wrong diet, too much stress, frequent use of antibiotics, the pill and many other reasons. Actually our modern life is full of potential causes for candida overgrow.
The range of symptoms for candida is huge and can include a bad immune system, headaches, problems with your digestion, your respiratory system, your skin, thrush, fatigue and many more. I won’t get too deep into that topic here,  if you want further information check out this really informative website which is gonna explain everything in great detail and gives you a lot of tips how to fight the problem and find again the right balance between acid and alkaline in your gut.

If you already know what I’m talking about – I welcome myself to the club ;) From yesterday on I’m one of maybe 50% of the population who have this problem, and I have to fight it with a 1,5month detox. The good thing is that a detox is not only good to fight the nasty bugger yeast, it’s also great to do your body something good and give it a proper cleanse, no matter if you suffer from a candida overgrow, over acidity or just need a proper detox before the summer starts.

Hence, for the next 6 weeks my recipes will be a bit different from what your are used to read here. I have to skip a lot of stuff like all kind of sugars, even fruit, white flour (bread, pasta etc.), frying, alcohol and any processed food. For an ideal consultation do a proper research or consult a holistic doctor, like I did with Dr. Lydia Oukuhena at the lovely Angka Cafe Rejuvenation Centre in Marsa, Malta. They also offer a great range of vegetarian and vegan food, lot of interesting workshops and classes around the topic of health and wellbeing.

Honestly, I was really really upset after I heard the diagnose, especially about the fact of not drinking alcohol for 1,5 months! I know it sounds horrible, but I can’t even remember when I did this for the last time ;) However, after some more research and some really supportive talks with friends and other open minded people I decided to give it a go. It can’t be THAT difficult, aye?!

Now I bought everything I need and I feel pretty well prepared and ready to go. No, it’s not gonna be easy. Yes, you’re gonna spend some money in the stuff you are not used to buy normally. Quite a long list of natural remedies and health supplements will be recommended from your doctor – so better think about it twice before you start and spend the money. But I’m sure it’s gonna be worth it and by now I’m quite excited to try out a lot new dishes and experiment with new ingredients in my kitchen. Give me a bit of time so I can sort out some nice recipes to share, so far I’ve been experimenting with green smoothies and new grains to go with my green veg- so far not with great success, but it will get better I’m sure.

For today I’m only gonna post one photo of a meal which I haven’t even cooked myself but it saved my day and cheered me up today, my detox day 2. It’s lovely seaweed salad with cabbage, rucola and cucumber – especially dressed with sea salt, lemon juice and olive oil (instead of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar) at the lovely GOCHI in St. Julians. Martin, YOU saved my day! Places like Gochi, Angka Cafe and soon Why not? @ Surfside will help me so I won’t have to stay at home for the next 6 weeks – yippeyyyyyyyyy!!!

gochi-seaweed-salad

tabuleh salad with roasted veg, walnuts, tahini lemon dressing & falafel.

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Do you also love arabic food? I love the flavors of the Turkish and Lebanese kitchen and find it very inspiring to taste different things and try to introduce them to my own kitchen, too. Recently I started this new habit of giving myself a treat after my lovely yoga class on Mondays. The treat is called fresh falafel and I found a place which makes them super fresh, just in front of you. While you pick your salad from the counter (my favorite mix is couscous, aubergines, parsley tabuleh and humus with it) the falafel which mainly consist of chickpeas and different spices get fried in a pan. Five minutes later you have a warm, lovely smelling box in your hand and I can hardly wait to get home.

Yesterday was another Monday so I decided to buy 3 more falafels to get a nice and quick lunch after today’s work. I knew that I still have tons of fresh herbs from the farmer’s market and wanted to try out an arabic salad version with my own stuff. The experiment came out lovely! Super tasty, healthy and boasting of amazing flavors…

Tabuleh like salad with fresh mint, parsley and rucola, topped with roasted red pepper, aubergine, fennel, walnuts and falafel, served with a lemon tahini dressing.

tabuleh salad with roasted veg, walnuts, thahini lemon dressing & falafel.

Ingredients: bunch of greens like mint, rucola and parsley, 1 red pepper, small fennel bulb, some walnuts (crashed), 1 garlic (if you like) & some fresh herbs for the roasted veg (I took fresh marjoram and rosemary), juice of 1 lemon, high quality olive oil, seasalt, pepper, 1 spoon of tahini and 3 pieces of falafel from your favorite Lebanese place.

Method: For the roasted veg cut the pepper and fennel in bite-sized pieces and roast them for like 10min with some fresh garlic, herbs and season with salt and pepper. Add the crashed walnuts only for the last couple of minutes so they don’t burn. Put aside to cool off. For the salad chop the washed and dried greens (mint, parsley, rucola) and make a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, a spoon of tahini (add a splash of water), salt and pepper. Top with roasted veg and falafel.